On 1 February 2018, I started working on a 13″ x 18″ Glorafilia Tiffany peacock needlepoint kit. While it isn’t finished (yet!), it serves as inspiration and motivation for both my hobbies and career choices.
I’ve done dozens of counted cross stitch pieces over several decades, but I’d completed just one needlepoint kit, an iris pillow, before starting this one. The pillow only called for the basic tent stitch, where the peacock required several decorative stitches.
After I completed the easy background tent stitches at the top, I let the canvas sit for months at a stretch (pun intended) because I felt overwhelmed by all the color changes, especially in the peacock’s tail. Each time I’d pick it up, I’d spend time being indecisive about which color to start with. Sometimes it would just look like too much left to do on an overly ambitious design, so I wouldn’t do anything on it.
As if the design wasn’t intricate enough, I decided to make some of the leaves look more lifelike with a vein. I don’t think a single one turned out the way I wanted on my first attempt to stitch it.
Even though the satin stitches in the tail were longer and seemingly quicker to do, the tail feathers were much more complicated than I expected. I found myself unstitching and restitching multiple times on almost every color change because the stitches didn’t lie flat or fully cover the canvas. If each stitch was meant to be the “hair” (which I’ve learned through Google is the “barb”) of a feather, I made stitching errors that made the peacock look like my schnauzer had nipped at him. I’m still not completely happy with some of my stitches, but I don’t want to make this project into life’s work!
I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment on Sunday night when I finally finished filling in the bottom of the peacock’s tail! I still need to outline parts of it and stitch most of the bottom right corner. I’m confident I’ll finish the piece (and hopefully get it to a frame shop) before its 4th anniversary rolls around next month.
I didn’t feel overwhelmed with building my Lego sets (bookshop and typewriter) because I had step-by-step instructions, though some were confusing as you have no text and must interpret diagrams. I did make a couple of mistakes with adding a brick on the wrong side or in the wrong place. Fortunately, I’m married to my own personal Lego guru. Drew was able to figure out and fix my errors, saving me from undoing and redoing everything.
With my current paint-by-number canvas of Van Gogh’s Irises, the somewhat paralyzing indecisiveness over color choice is back in full force.
In all 3 of these hobbies, instructions generally are clear, and the outcome is known before I start.
In my career choices, I have no instructions or known outcome. It’s easy to have analysis paralysis when considering conflicting choices, especially since spending time on one thing takes time needed for something else. For example:
- Should I research a public domain book for possible narration, and if so, which one?
- Should I write an article today? If I do, should it be something for my blog or the NarratorsRoadmap.com Knowledge Base?
- Should I create a video?
- I’m currently adding listings to my exclusive casting directory for NarratorsRoadmap.com 6-month and yearly members. Which company should I add next? Should I pick a production company or a publisher?
The needlepoint peacock has shown me again that if I would just do a little bit each day, the whole thing starts to come together and reveal itself over time.
I know how to prioritize my tasks and ensure that my work for others is done ahead of the deadline. I adhere to schedules for my personal and NarratorsRoadmap.com member newsletters.
However, many things on my to-do list are self-imposed and have equal priority, like the colors in a needlepoint or paint-by-numbers kit. In those cases, it doesn’t matter which one I pick.
What does matter is TAKING CONSISTENT ACTION.
By not worrying about making a mistake, any action will move me forward in some way. I learn things that don’t turn out quite the way I envisioned and find better ways to do them. The outcomes tend to be far more beneficial and beautiful than I could have imagined!